Teen brothers arrested for Autumn Pasquale's murder

CLAYTON, N.J. - October 23, 2012

The arrest of those teens, ages 15 and 17, was announced in a news conference on Tuesday afternoon with Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton.

Investigators say Autumn's cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma consistent with strangulation. There was no sign of sexual assault, investigators said.

Dalton said they wanted to obtain parts for a BMX bike. Autumn was last seen riding her BMX bike on Saturday, which investigators say was recovered in the teens' home.

Dalton said the teens' mother called them after becoming concerned about a Facebook post, which helped crack the case.

Their names were not released. The prosecutor said a decision had not been made whether to charge them as adults, citing the ongoing investigation. However, he said they are strongly considering sending the case to adult court.

They are charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, disposing of a body, tampering with evidence and theft. The 15-year-old was also charged with one count of luring.

The teens turned themselves in with their attorney earlier Tuesday, Dalton said.

Autumn's body was found around 10:00 p.m. Monday in a recycling container not far from her Clayton home.

Officials tell Action News that Autumn's body was still dressed in the same clothes she had on Saturday.

Autumn's uncle, Paul Spadafora, spoke at the news conference earlier in the day, saying "Our little angel Autumn has reached out to the world in her own special way. She's an angel. She was an angel here on Earth, and she's an angel up in Heaven."

The discovery of her body come just hours after an emotional candlelight vigil was held for Autumn in her hometown.

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"This is a very sad day for the Pasquale family," Dalton said earlier in the day. His office led the search with assistance from 20 municipal, state and federal agencies. "Our hearts go out to the family and to all the residents of Clayton who stood together in support of this young girl."

Autumn, a seventh-grader who would have turned 13 on October 29th, went for a bike ride around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. After hours of not hearing from the girl, her family reported her missing on Saturday night at around 9:30.

The last known communication was in a text message she sent around 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

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